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U.S. Supreme Court

Eilenbecker v. District Court of Plymouth County, 134 U.S. 31 (1890)

Eilenbecker v. District Court of Plymouth County

No. 101

Submitted January 8, 1890

Decided Marc 3, 1890

134 U.S. 31


The first eight of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States have reference only to powers exercised by the United States, and not to those exercised by the states.

The provision in Article III of the Constitution of the United States respecting the trial of crimes by jury relates to the judicial power of the United States.

Article VI of the Amendments to the Constitution of the United States respecting a speedy and public trial by jury; Articles V and VI respecting the right of persons accused of crime to be confronted with the witnesses; Article VIII respecting excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments, and Article XIV respecting the abridgment of privileges, the deprivation of liberty or property without due process of law, and the denial of the equal protection of the laws, are not infringed by the statutes of Iowa authorizing its courts, when a person violates an injunction restraining him from selling intoxicating liquors, to punish him as for contempt by fine or imprisonment or both.

Proceedings according to the common law for contempt of court are not subject to the right of trial by jury, and are "due process of law"

within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

All the powers of courts, whether at common law or in chancery, may be

Page 134 U. S. 32

called into play by the legislature of a state for the purpose of suppressing the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors when they are prohibited by law, and to abate a nuisance declared by law to be such, and the Constitution of the United States interposes no hindrance.

A district court of a county in Iowa is empowered to enjoin and restrain a person from selling or keeping for sale intoxicating liquors, including ale, wine and beer, in the county, and disobedience of the order subjects the guilty party to proceedings for contempt and punishment thereunder.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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